Strengthening Seed and Output Markets in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Swaziland (SAMP2)

Project completed

This project will increase food security by developing the capacity of smallholder farmers to locally produce improved seed and stimulate local formal and informal seed markets. To achieve this, the project will work to remove barriers to accessing inputs and agronomic training; develop farmer and community organizational skills to meet seed production standards; and promote efficient strategies for seed processing, packaging, marketing and informal exchanges.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Agriculture & food security
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)
Agricultural development
01.10.2013 - 30.09.2015
CHF  4’500’000

Seed insecurity is a key constraint to household food security. In the three countries covered under this project, requirements for seed varieties adapted to local conditions (agro-ecological, economic etc.) at community level are not being met by private seed houses, especially when it comes to legumes, which large seed houses consider economically unviable. Baseline data from SAMP1 pointed to a largely unmet demand for Open Pollinated Varieties (OPV) maize, groundnut, bambara nut and cowpeas. It showed also that hybrid maize varieties commercialized by big seed players in Swaziland and Lesotho were typically twice the price of OPV maize and therefore beyond the reach of most households.


Vulnerable households improve their food security and resilience to shocks

Target groups

The project targets food insecure women and men small-scale farmers, who are vulnerable to, and affected by various crises and emergencies in target areas: dry land areas in Zimbabwe, “bread-basket” areas in Lesotho and Swaziland. It also targets government agricultural extension services, so that small-scale farmers ultimately secure both inputs and know-how allowing them to become food secure.

Medium-term outcomes

  1. Vulnerable food insecure small-scale farmers have secure access to, and control over a diversity of seeds
  2. Markets are established for the sale of surplus seed and commodities produced in target areas


Results from previous phases:  

SAMP1 showed that small-scale farmers were able to improve their seed security, provided they were offered a combination of agronomic and foundation seed support. SAMP1 managed to mobilize close to 4,500 small-scale farmers and support them in becoming seed producers. SAMP1 had managed to increase the number of agro-dealers (ZW) from 1 in 2010, to 27 in 2013, and that this had led to an increase in the sale of seed from 50 tons (Seed Co. maize) to 86.5 tons over the same period. Through agro-dealer consignment agreements, SAMP1 was able to demonstrate that input costs can be brought down thanks to bulk purchases which minimize transport costs.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector North
  • GRM International

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’500’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    4’110’760
Project phases Phase 3 01.10.2015 - 31.12.2021   (Current phase)

Phase 2 01.10.2013 - 30.09.2015   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.07.2010 - 30.09.2013   (Completed)